Death Comes to Pemberley

P.D. James is a brilliant writer. She has millions of fans around the world, and at the age of 91 she’s still putting pen to paper (or maybe fingers to keyboard? – who knows). And this time she’s outdone herself. Every writer has his/her own style of writing, and to get into another writer’s head and write like they do is next to impossible… I would think, but what do I know anyway. James has combined two of her favourite things in this book… her love of Jane Austen and her love of writing mystery novels. Death Comes to Pemberley is a sequal to Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice. I won’t go into too much detail about the book except to set the stage… the Darcys, Fitzwilliam & Elizabeth, have been married for 6 years and are happily esconsed at Pemberley. They’re dealing with the details of the much anticipated annual St. Ann’s Ball, when a chaise hurtles (I’m beginning to sound like Jane myself!) to their front door with Lydia, Elizabeth’s empty-headed sister, screaming that her husband, George Wickham, has been murdered. As it turns out he isn’t dead, but discovered drunk, hysterical, and covered in blood, bent over the lifeless body of his best friend, Captain Denny. The book moves slowly at first, (some might even say it drags and disappoints) but this part sets the stage perfectly for the trial and conclusion, and eventually, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s expertly crafted. At times I had to remind myself this was P.D. James writing, not Jane Austen. It’s that astonishing. If you’re a fan of either author you’ll love this book. I can’t say enough about how skillful a writer James is to pull this off. She’s definitely brilliant!

Comments (2) »

  1. Mystery Tribune Said,

    February 11, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    I agree with your points on the good level of details P. D. James provides in her books and specifically this one; I also reviewed the book here:

    I don’t know if you fully agree with me or not; I think in spite of all the notable things, this book had too much fluff in it and also the recaps to Pride and Prejudice were to some extent excessive

  2. linda Said,

    February 13, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    I read Pride and Prejudice so many moons ago that I found I needed the recaps to get me up to speed. I had originally thought I should reread Pride before Pemberley, but it wasn’t necessary. The recaps helped me slide into James’ book with ease.

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